Updated on 09/16/2011 8:03AM

Big horse is beatable

Grade 1 winner With Anticipation needs a race, but not necessarily the one he's in on Wednesday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - With Anticipation was a two-time Grade 1 winner and an Eclipse Award finalist in 2001. But he could find himself at the mercy of allowance competition when launching his 2002 campaign at five furlongs on the turf in Wednesday's $46,000 feature at Gulfstream Park.

With Anticipation has not started since finishing ninth in the Japan Cup on Nov. 25. And even his trainer, Jonathan Sheppard, admits five furlongs is not the ideal distance for a horse who won the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Handicap at 1 1/2 miles and the Grade 1 Man o' War at 1 3/8 miles last summer in New York. With Anticipation also missed a third Grade 1 victory when disqualified from first and placed second in the United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park.

"He's nearly ready to go," said Sheppard. "I entered him in a longer race last week but it did not fill. This race is only five furlongs but it's the only open race in the condition book, and I believe in the old adage that one race is as good as four works."

Sheppard needs to get a race into With Anticipation because he is contemplating sending the turf star back to the Far East again next month.

"There's a $1.8 million stakes in Hong Kong on April 21 that I'm thinking about," Sheppard said. "And if he's going there, he needs a race somewhere first to tighten him up a bit. He's got a good bottom under him and going five furlongs will help put a little speed into him, which won't hurt. He'll get outrun of course. I don't want him rushed out of the gate. He'll try to pick up horses down the lane, although there are some blazing speedballs in here and he'll probably be 15 lengths out of it when they come off the turn."

The fastest of them all in Wednesday's main event is Kipperscope, who dominated the turf sprint division last season at Calder and has continued to hold his form extremely well over the main track here this winter.

Kipperscope has won his last four starts at five furlongs on turf, including two overnight stakes. He finished second behind odds-on favorite Hook and Ladder in the six- furlong Mr Prospector Handicap here Jan. 13, and comes off an impressive 3 1/2-length allowance win on March 6.

Oro de Mexico, entered for dirt only, looms the main threat if the race comes off the grass.

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